The UK Charity Commission has published a report regarding its inquiry into a registered charity (the Bristol Community Church Trust). The inquiry started in 2011 and related to sexual abuse allegations that were made against the charity's youth pastor and the inadequacy of the charity's internal safeguarding practices with respect to their response to these allegations.
The results of the inquiry were that "...there was misconduct and mismanagement in the administration of the charity due to the failure of the trustees to take reasonable steps to protect beneficiaries at the time the incidents occurred since there were a number of deficiencies in the charity's safeguarding policies, procedures and practice which subjected the charity's vulnerable beneficiaries to undue risk."
This case demonstrates how important it is for charities to implement safeguarding practices (through internal policies and procedures) and ensure these are being followed and complied with when a charity is involved with or dealing with vulnerable beneficiaries as part of its activities.
The press release can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/commission-finds-misconduct-due-to-deficient-safeguarding-procedures?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+CharityCommissionUpdates+%28Charity+Commission+updates%29
The UK Charity Commission has also released a Policy Paper relating to how trustees of charities working with children and other vulnerable groups in the UK must promote their welfare and protect them from harm. The Policy Paper is entitled, "Safeguarding children and young people", which you can access here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/safeguarding-children-and-young-people/safeguarding-children-and-young-people
There is also a UK Charity Commission guidance on this issue, entitled "Strategy for dealing with safeguarding vulnerable groups including children issues in charities", which you can access here: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/471896/safeguarding_strategy.pdf
Do you require legal advice with respect to Canadian or Ontario non-profits or charities?
Mark Blumberg is a partner at the law firm of Blumberg Segal LLP in Toronto and works almost exclusively in the areas of non-profit and charity law.